Valve Source engine particle simulation
Next up are a couple of tests we picked up during a visit to Valve Software, the developers of the Half-Life games. They had been working to incorporate support for multi-core processors into their Source game engine, and they cooked up a couple of benchmarks to demonstrate the benefits of multithreading.
The first of those tests runs a particle simulation inside of the Source engine. Most games today use particle systems to create effects like smoke, steam, and fire, but the realism and interactivity of those effects are limited by the available computing horsepower. Valve's particle system distributes the load across multiple CPU cores.
The Phenom's four cores give it a clear advantage over the 45nm Core 2 Duo chips here, but the Core 2 Quad Q6600 proves to be even faster.
Valve VRAD map compilation
This next test processes a map from Half-Life 2 using Valve's VRAD lighting tool. Valve uses VRAD to precompute lighting that goes into games like Half-Life 2. This isn't a real-time process, and it doesn't reflect the performance one would experience while playing a game. Instead, it shows how multiple CPU cores can speed up game development.
Much like in the last test, the new Phenoms perform well here, but not quite well enough to catch the Q6600.
|Intel's 3D NAND has 32 layers and 256Gb per die||48|
|Report: Valve lays out new rules for Early Access games||8|
|Intel's 2015 revenue outlook beats Street expectations||23|
|Telltale's Game of Thrones game looks pretty good||12|
|TR's November 2014 mobile staff picks||43|
|Join us tonight at 8:30pm CST for the TR Podcast live||6|
|Samsung to intro FreeSync-enabled UHD monitors in March 2015||38|
|AMD's Carrizo APU is coming in mid-2015, will share package with Beema successor||66|
|Sounds like a good way to conceal the terrible financial performance of the mobile business unit.||+35|